Do you remember making homemade ice cream as a kid? I do. We had this bright blue ice cream maker with an American flag on the side. It was loud and someone always had to be nearby to make sure there was enough salt packed around the sides, keeping the ice cream cold. Most often we made it at my Grandma’s house, when the cousins would come for visits in the summer.
Chocolate sheet cake and homemade ice cream. I can almost taste it.
Grandpa and the uncles would set up lawn chairs in the driveway and visit, occasionally adding more salt to the machine. The cousins would play yard games and catch fireflies in mason jars all while taking turns, running to the uncles, to ask if the ice cream was ready. The poor messenger would return with a disappointed “no” or come running, waving their arms wildly, yelling, “it’s ready, come on!”
Everyone would dash inside to grab a bowl, a scoop of vanilla and a slice of cake. We would eat packed around Grandma’s kitchen table, then head back outside to catch more fireflies.
These are some of my favorite summer memories.
I was given an ice cream maker for Christmas this last year. It isn’t quite as loud and there’s no American flag on the side, but it makes some pretty great ice cream and sorbet. Here’s one of our favorites…
*makes a little over one quart
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup agave or honey
4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
4 tablespoons lemon juice
In a medium saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved, creating a simple syrup. Pour into separate container and allow to cool.
Combine the strawberries, honey/agave and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until strawberries are completely pureed. Pour puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Combine the seedless, strawberry puree with the cooled simple syrup. Chill for 1 hour.
Pour the strawberry mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes. At this point it will have a soft serve consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for roughly 2 hours.
I’m hoping to use this little ice cream maker as much as possible over the next few months, making all kinds of cool, summer treats and a few summer memories of our own….
…like teaching these boys of mine a thing or two about catching fireflies.